A crazed woman was caught on camera stealing a dog rescued from a shelter patronized by celebrities including the Kardashians, Charlize Theron and the Jonas Brothers.
Cody Wood said he was walking his friend’s German Shepherd/Pug mix named Noodle, in Las Vegas last Wednesday morning when a woman pulled up in her car and began yelling that the animal was hers.
Wood and another witness said the middle-aged woman then got out her car and attacked him, wrestling the dog from him while he was distracted calling the police, and sped off in her car – almost running him over in the process.
A bystander, a local business owner who asked to be named only as Raina, caught the bizarre attack on camera and shared the video with DailyMail.com.
The dog’s owner, Julien Calella, said he adopted Noodle last year from Los Angeles shelter The Labelle Foundation, patronized by a raft of A-listers.
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Video shared with DailyMail.com captured the moment a crazed woman took off with Julien Calella’s dog, Noodle (pictured) in Las Vegas Wednesday morning
Julien’s friend Cody Wood (pictured) had been taking Noodle on his morning walk to a nearby cafe Wednesday when a woman (in pink) suddenly pulled up in her car and began shouting that the dog was hers
Wood said he initially thought the dog-napper was being ‘sweet’ as she asked him if she could see the pooch
The woman, who was not identified, was seen wrestling the dog out of Wood’s arms as he tried to call the police
The Kardashians have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the shelter, while Charlize Theron, the Jonas Brothers, Pink and Sharon Stone have all either adopted dogs from the charity, donated or volunteered there.
The woman was later arrested trying to board a flight out of the state after getting into an altercation with Homeland Security officers, Calella said police told him.
And in a stroke of luck Noodle was found and turned in to a local shelter on Friday – where Callela was videoed being reunited with his furry friend.
Wood said he and Calella, 29, were staying in Vegas setting up a new restaurant for their company, Wish You Were Here Group, and he decided to take Noodle for a walk to a nearby cafe around 8:30am Wednesday.
‘The woman pulled up in the car. She said “hey, can I see your dog?” She sounded like she was being nice and sweet,’ Wood, 36, said.
‘I didn’t move but then she opened the door and said “that’s my dog,” and then started calling the dog, which was alarming.
‘Then she got out of the car. At that point I picked up the dog and people could tell it was becoming a situation.’
The woman was seen punching Wood and managed to pull Noodle into her car during the struggle, causing him to fall back on the ground
She then took the pooch and sped off in her car – almost running Wood over in the process
Noodle was eventually picked up and brought into a local shelter, where he was later reunited with Calella. According to police, the woman told detectives she left Noodle on the street near the coffee shop after she realized the dog was not hers
Video of the heartwarming reunion showed Noodle was clearly
‘She approached me at that point. She was saying “that’s my dog,” I said, “no it’s not”. I said “let’s call the cops, if you really think this is your dog we’ll wait for the police and we’ll have time to get everything sorted out.” She agreed and stepped away.
‘While on the phone with the police, that’s when the video starts. She came and started pulling the dog.
‘She had one of the dog’s legs in her hands and was pulling so hard it looked like it might severely injure Noodle.’
Raina, 34, said she first noticed the woman when she ‘almost ran me over’ in the Dutch Bros Coffee parking lot.
She said she saw the woman accost Wood, then when he was distracted calling the police, she said the woman punched him three times.
‘She started punching him in the face to try to get hold of the dog,’ Raina said. ‘She was yelling.
‘With all her weight she pulled them both into her car. That’s when it looked like he got pinned between her door and the panel. I saw her turn it from park to drive. If he hadn’t realized to roll to his left he would have gotten run over.’
Calella told DailyMail.com he got 10-month-old, 30lb Noodle from the Labelle Foundation
The German Shepherd-Pug mix was born at the shelter after his pregnant mother was transferred from another animal charity and was originally named Tater-tot, founder Laura Labelle revealed
‘The entire thing was so shocking,’ said Wood. ‘Once she got it in drive she stepped on the gas so quickly I was very close to the tires. She just hit go and unfortunately she got away with Julien’s beautiful dog.’
Calella told DailyMail.com he got 10-month-old, 30lbs Noodle from the Labelle Foundation.
‘We just instantly bonded. I took him home the same day I met him,’ he said.
‘This is awful. It’s so crazy and hard to believe I haven’t fully processed it.
‘Just not having him looking through the window when I pull up to the house is heart-wrenching.’
LVMPD confirmed the alleged theft in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘A victim was walking through a parking lot located in the 2800 block of East Tropicana with a dog,’ LVMPD said in a statement. ‘The victim alleges a female approached him and accused him of stealing her dog.
‘A struggle ensued and the suspect was able to leave in a vehicle with the dog. This case is currently under investigation.’
Raina’s video and pictures of the incident captured the license plate of the car the woman was driving.
Calella said he took Noodle home the same day he met him after the pair ‘instantly bonded’
Calella said that police used the plate to trace the apparent dog thief to a nearby address, where her husband allegedly told officers that she had recently given birth, had been acting strangely, took off that day without explanation and had not returned.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) told Calella the woman was arrested after she got into an altercation with Homeland Security officers while trying to get on a flight out of Nevada, telling them she was ‘going to talk to God.’
The woman told detectives she realized after taking the dog that it was not hers, and left it on the street near the coffee shop.
Luckily, the little dog was picked up and brought into a local shelter, and within hours was reunited with his owner.
A video obtained by DailyMail.com shows Calella kneeling down and hugging Noodle as the pup pees on the floor with excitement.
‘I’m just happy he’s back,’ Calella said. ‘He turned up there recently, my buddy put up a post online, and we got a response pretty quickly. I’m so relieved.’
Laura Labelle, the founder of the rescue shelter where Calella adopted Noodle, told DailyMail.com that the dog was born at the shelter after his pregnant mother was transferred from another animal charity in Bakersfield, California.
Dua Lipa and boyfriend Anwar Hadid revealed they adopted dog Dexter from the Labelle Foundation in last July
Several A-list stars including Charlize Theron, the Jonas Brothers, and Sharon Stone have all either adopted dogs from the charity, donated or volunteered there. In March, Pink shared a photo of her new pup Habañero Mountain Guy Kadashi Hart with her kids after adopting him from the shelter
‘We originally named him Tater-Tot,’ she said. ‘We named all the litter after potatoes: there was Hash Brown, Baked Potato, Tater-Tot and French Fry.
‘We take a lot of pregnant dogs from that area, and find homes for their puppies and the moms.’
Labelle added that she had seen a rise in brazen dog theft cases.
‘I could not be more overjoyed to find Tater-Tot has been found. Not all of these stories unfortunately have a happy ending.
‘I was reaching out to other rescues to share a picture of Tater-Tot. One rescue told me that one of their adopters was walking his Chiwawa and these guys pulled up in a car, beat him up, took the dog and drove off. It was a five-month-old and it’s never been seen since,’ she said.
‘At Venice Beach and the Marina [in Los Angeles] it’s a daily occurrence, dogs are getting stolen right out of people’s hands.
‘It’s so horrible and terrifying. It’s so important to the wellbeing of a dog to be walked – but carry pepper spray!’
The charity’s website says: ‘The Labelle Foundation is a Los Angeles foster based 501(c)(3) animal rescue devoted to saving, rehabilitating, and advocating for dogs.’
To donate the charity go to labellefoundation.org.